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How Traditional Cornish Pasties Are Made | Regional Eats

mwilson's picture

How Traditional Cornish Pasties Are Made | Regional Eats

Check out that double arm mixer!

For a long time I've understood pasty dough to be a little different from the conventional types, this goes a good way to explain it!

I will bake them! I must!

jl's picture
jl (not verified)

and I've been wanting to try making pasties ever since. It's interesting that they scoff at using carrots nor do they seem to sweeten the swedes. Those tend to get bitter when baked.

Thanks for sharing!  

mwilson's picture

I thought this was a good video that featured a little bit of history and some insight into the techniques used. As with anything traditional we can always expect some level of protectionism, so I can understand their feelings on the use of carrots which I'm guessing is because they are so abundant and accessible. Just like their strong opposition toward the unmentionable ‘M’ word - Minced meat which could be made from any cut of meat. And on that, I learnt there is a prime cut of skirt, prior to this I just understood it to be any ol' skirt! 

Regarding the swede, your comment immediately caught my interest. I studied for a year at catering college and the same wisdom, but now I'm thinking perhaps falsehood, was taught to me, that overcooked swede can get bitter...

I have always wondered about this and I would sometimes proudly repeat the point. However, swede is a common addition to beef stew in my neck of the woods and I can't say I've ever found the long stewing process to result in bitter tasting pieces of swede, actually they taste sweet to me.

Perhaps it is a certain type of cooking, like baking as you say, that can cause bitter tasting swede. Note however, in effect the swede would be steam cooked while inside the pasty!

Thinking out loud, perhaps the cautionary wisdom of cooking swede is the same as with garlic! What do you think?


jl's picture
jl (not verified)

I'm not much of a cook. 

My grandmother used to grow swedes in the garden. The young ones are naturally sweet. I imagine, if the St Agnes bakery is very particular about the cut of beef they're using, they would be just as particular about sourcing their swedes. 

happycat's picture

I made pasties a couple years ago with homemade pastry and really enjoyed them, but they were not "authentic" and I don't exercise enough to burn off all the pastry.

I think I might've used lamb.

Colin2's picture

My Dad used to make them, and the joke was they should be robust enough to toss down a mine shaft.  They're good picnic food, but the fat content is definitely geared for physical labor.  

semolina_man's picture

My family has roots in the UP of Michigan and pasties are part of this.  I have made pasties a number of times and have used steak for the meat, and potatoes, rutabaga and carrots for the veggies.  Sometimes I toss the filling ingredients in a bit of tomato sauce for moisture and flavor.   Salt, pepper and dried sage for seasoning.  Good stuff!

For the dough I use a standard lard or lard+butter shortcrust pastry. 

Gadjowheaty's picture

Ya, married to a Yooper.  Jean K's will get 'er done!

HeiHei29er's picture

The Cornish are a big part of the UP of MI heritage.  They came over to work in the mines in the Copper Country.  We use a 50:50 blend of ground beef and pork.  Coarse grind.  All the grocery stores have it.  Rutabaga, onions, carrots, and potatoes.  The big controversy…. Vegetables sliced or diced.  😁

albacore's picture

Interesting Michael - thank you for posting. The pastry making has shades of an old dough technique in bread production.